This might possibly be one of the latest posts I’ve ever done, but it wouldn’t be a Writing Wednesday if I had it scheduled for the next day. Gods, no. All the same, I did just get back and I wanted to enumerate the lovely things I did with my little voldies.
Today we decided to take a field trip. And when I say field trip, I mean going across the hall to the library. Normally, I host my creative writing workshop at the 7th grade classroom, ’cause working Smartboard and the like. In retrospect, I think this was a better idea, because the minute I walked into the library, I’d gotten half distracted at all the books I could possibly take out (and almost did). Anyway, there really was a purpose to this writing field trip!
I’d decided to be calculating and random. Calculatingly random. So I told the little voldies to pick a book. Any book, really. Then, after picking said book, I told them to pick a number (which I asked them to do after I looked through the pages of their respective book). After they picked their number, I told them to go to that page number and read the first FULL paragraph, then continue the story from there.
The results were interesting. My scifi writer had immediately picked up a Star Wars book, which he then proceeded to turn into a genocide story (the poor Jedis never saw it coming). One of them turned a stalkery paragraph into a romance, another went all out in the romance, ending it with a damn punny knock-knock joke (which slayed me, by the way). My favorite–weirdly (or maybe appropriately enough)–was the one writing voldie who chose Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and chose to rewrite the ship in the book to Harry/Hermione (which tickled me black and blue, considering we had a conversation where I told her *I* ship Harry/Hermione XD). The wonders of my writing voldies never cease to amaze me.
For my part, I grabbed Fairest by Gail Carson Levine. I thought this was a good enough prompt for me, because a) I adored Ella Enchanted, but b) I never actually read Fairest. So I asked my kids to give me a number, and I wound up with the following (completely vague and short) paragraph:
Fairest, page 236 – “I wondered if it was morning.”
This may sound like a strange thing to wonder, but night and day were completely different in a world with two moons and a sun that flickered on or off according to its journey across the sky.
There was a story to that. My aunt Cassandra spoke about how our days were sometimes shorter and longer.
“It’s all about the birds, my dear,” she’d said to me.
Aunt Cass was a fae historian. No, she didn’t study just fae. She is fae. She liked to mention this to us non-magical folk whenever family gatherings happened. But as much of a braggart as Aunt Cass was, I have to admit that her stories were absolutely memorable. She always had one handy for the right occasion. Case in point, she had one that explained the sky.
There were these two birds, see. Well, there was one bird at first. And this one bird gave birth to this other bird. That other bird was called Sola. Translated, that means “sun” for us. So obviously this newly born firebird was emitting flames which pegged him his name. For thousands of years our planet had nothing but daytime, perpetuated by a streaming birdlike sun flying across the horizon.
But like any myth, things eventually change.
We got our moon when the firebird fell in love.
Aunt Cass loves this story because the firebird had fallen in love with someone from her neck of the woods. Like, literally, the forest fae that became the moon was a tree-way away from Aunt Cass’ old abode. Aunt Cass never knew the forest-turned-moon-fae personally, but she liked to brag about the almost famous proximity she had in the matter.
But yeah. We have a local moon goddess. And she had turned the sun around to dance to her tune.
I actually based this off a writing exercise, where I’d talked about my firebird myth story. That exercise was a bit more polished, but then again, that also took me a lot more time to put together. The one above was a workshop result of 40 minutes and several blabbity-blabbing middle schoolers. All the same, I think I’m fleshing things out slowly!